Mankidia tribe in Odisha is denied habitat rights inside core area of Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) in Odisha under historic Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006.
State Forest Department had objected their habitat rights on grounds that tribals could be attacked by wild animals, especially tigers.
Mankidia is one of the 13 Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) and is a marginalised group that critically depends on making rope with siali fibre that’s richly available in Similipal.
‘Habitat’ under Section 2(h) of the FRA (Forest Rights Act) is defined as area comprising customary habitat and such other habitats in reserved forests and protected forests of primitive tribal groups and pre-agricultural communities and other forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes.
PVTGs are more vulnerable among the tribal groups.
Among 75 listed PVTG’s the highest number are found in Odisha (13), followed by Andhra Pradesh (12).
They are identified by Union Government according to procedure in which state governments or UT governments submit proposals to Union Ministry of Tribal Welfare for identification of PVTGs.
Simlipal National park
Simlipal National Park is national park and a tiger reserve in Mayurbhanj district of Odisha.
It is part of Similipal-Kuldiha-Hadgarh Elephant Reserve popularly known as Mayurbhanj Elephant Reserve.
Simlipal National Park derives its name from the abundance of semul (red silk cotton trees) that bloom here.
It is the third largest national park in India.
It is also a Biosphere Reserve.
This reserve is part of UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves since 2009.